Morning Routine for Peak Performance
By Nick Powell 19/7/2017
Setting Your Day up For Success
My Clients often have challenges with setting up their day for peak performance and as we develop a morning routine that works for them, I am often asked, “what do you do each morning?”
A few years ago, my morning routine consisted of falling out of bed, jumping in the shower, a quick swig of water and then start the commute to London. I would pride myself on how fast I could get from “bed to desk”, often entering the office without sufficient clarity, energy and focus. Although I was successful, I had to work pretty damn hard, much harder than I needed to.
Things are a lot different now and my mornings are the most important part of my day and it primes me for the day ahead. When I hit all aspects of my morning routine, my day always goes well 100% of the time.
MY MORNING ROUTINE AND WHY EACH HABIT IS IMPORTANT TO ME:
1. Wakeup using the Sleep Cycle App – this enables me to wake up refreshed, within a 30-minute window
2. Visit the bathroom - take a shower and brush teeth – pretty obvious :o)
3. Weigh myself – this enables me to track any food or environment sensitivities from the last 24 hours that may be causing inflammation
4. Drink 500ml of water with organic lemon juice – this enables me to start each day fully hydrated and the lemon helps to balance pH. Although lemon is acidic when it is metabolised in the body it turns alkaline and raises the pH of the body
5. Get dressed – I’d get arrested if I didn’t :)
6. Take supplements & nootropics – I’m happy that I get a lot of nutrients from my diet but there are several supplements and smart drugs that I take to ensure my body is performing optimally and I have energy all day long. Note: I take fat soluble supplements with my Coffee – see below
7. Vibration Plate (5 mins) – detoxifies and strengthens my immune system by moving the lymphatic system
8. Mindfulness (20 mins) using Headspace - I start each day with a clear intention and set-up my mind to perform as best it can. The benefits of a daily mindfulness practice are backed up by scientific research and it’s no surprise that many of the world’s most successful people have a daily mindfulness practice.
9. Heart Coherence Training using Inner Balance (5 mins) – this is heart rate variability (HRV) training, which helps train my sympathetic nervous system to be calm when under pressure
10. Bulletproof Coffee – I haven’t missed a morning without havinga BulletProof Coffee in over 12 months. It switches on my brain in the morning and gives me an abundance of energy. I also follow a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, so this works great and keeps me in ketosis.
11. Spend some time with the family – it’s important to me to spend some time with my Wife and Son before I leave the house, it reminds me what truly matters in life.
12. Use my commute to review my day - I use time on the train to ensure I have clarity over my day and spend 15 mins to:
· Review the diary
· Check my task manager (Todoist) to see what I need to get done today or follow-up on
· I Identify which frogs I’m going to eat when I get to the office
· Create a journal entry for the day, including what I’m looking to achieve that day 3 things that I’m grateful for.
This is a routine that works for me and I know that when I’ve completed it, I’m primed for peak performance. This won’t necessarily work for you, although many of the individual habits have specific benefits and I hope it gives you some inspiration.
HOW TO DESIGN YOUR OWN MORNING ROUTINE?
There are a few top tips that I’m going to share with you to help you design your own morning routine:
1. Start slowly and build incrementally – If you try and do everything at once you are likely to fail. Start with no more than 2 new things you want to build into your morning routine and when they become habitual, add more.
2. Understand your Why? – there are times when you want to stay in bed for longer and hit the snooze button but if you understand ‘your why” and why it’s important to you then you are more likely to take the action
3. Write it down – by having a written implementation plan you are three times more likely to succeed if you write it down
4. Prime the night before - make things easy on yourself the night before. I ensure everything is prepared the night before, which includes the clothes that I will wear, bag packed, electronics charged, headphones in the home office & Bulletproof Coffee ingredients ready in the kitchen
5. Go to bed earlier – understand how long your morning routines takes you and then go to bed earlier to ensure you have enough sleep and allow sufficient time in the morning to carry out your routine
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEUROPLASTICITY
Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to form new neurological pathways in response to learning. It was previously thought what we had a limited window in our lives to learn but scientific studies have proven that this assumption was incorrect. It’s been observed through MRI scans that in forming new habits, the brain creates new neural pathways, so you can teach an old dog new tricks.
How to stay accountable?
· Don’t break the chain – track the completion of your individual habits within your morning ritual, keep a log and track your streak rate.
· Use a Coach or an accountability partner to help keep you on track
For more information and blogs on peak performance, check out more from Nick Powell at strongerself.co.uk